NEW YORK – CBS is canceling its Sunday movie franchise in favor of two successful crime procedurals and will add a new Thursday series next fall with James Woods portraying a defense attorney who becomes a prosecutor.
As the most stable and successful broadcast network, CBS is adding only four new programs to next season's schedule — never more than one on a given night.
"We're taking some swings, but we're taking swings in an environment of strength," said CBS Corp. President Leslie Moonves.
The end of CBS' Sunday movie means that none of the major broadcast networks will have a regularly scheduled movie night. Many of CBS' Sunday movies were aimed at older women, an audience largely taken away by ABC's "Desperate Housewives," and most new approaches didn't work, Moonves said.
After "60 Minutes," CBS' reconfigured Sunday lineup has "The Amazing Race," "Cold Case" and "Without a Trace" — a top 10 hit that's moving from 10 p.m. Thursdays.
The "Shark" pilot with Woods, directed by Spike Lee, will get that coveted Thursday time slot following "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."
Moonves also said CBS gave no consideration to moving "Survivor" from Thursdays, despite dwindling ratings.
Besides the movie, CBS is canceling the comedy "Out of Practice." The long-running comedy "King of Queens" is not on the fall schedule, but will return in midseason for its last year.
CBS's only new comedy, "The Class," is from"Friends" writer David Crane and will feature a group of former third-grade classmates reunited in their 20s.
The other two new CBS dramas are "Smith," starring Ray Liotta as a career criminal and produced by John Wells of "ER" and "The West Wing," and "Jericho," about a Kansas town whose residents wonder if they're the only survivors when they see a mushroom cloud on the horizon.